5 Essential Travel Tips

5 Essential Travel Tips

Whether you’re going on a road trip or flying to your destination, bringing along your furry friend can make the trip more fun and memorable.

Women flying on an airplane with dogs

Traveling with your pet can make for an enjoyable and unforgettable trip, but it's vital to plan carefully to ensure their safety and comfort. Whether you're setting off on a road trip or flying to a new destination, the wellbeing of your furry friend should be your top priority.

For years, we've journeyed with our beloved dogs, for both work and play. Along the way, we've learned invaluable lessons to ensure each journey is positive and enjoyable.  In this mini-article, we’ll share five essential tips that every pet parent should know to make the journey as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Women flying on an airplane with dogs

1) Choose the Right Carrier

The first step in preparing for pet travel is selecting the right carrier. This choice should be based on the size of your pet and the specific requirements of your mode of travel.

A good carrier should be sturdy, well-ventilated, and large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. For air travel, it's crucial to choose a carrier that meets the airline's regulations.

2) Make Sure Your Pet is Comfortable with the Carrier

Once you've chosen your carrier, it's essential to make sure that your pet is comfortable with it. Begin by introducing the carrier to your pet well in advance of your trip. Leave it open in your home with a comfortable bed and occasional treats inside, so they associate it with positive experiences.

Gradually increase the time your pet spends in the carrier until they can relax in it. Then, take them on short car rides in the carrier to get them used to movement and unfamiliar surroundings.

3) Prepare a Pet Travel Kit

A well-prepared travel kit is essential for any pet journey. Here are some items you should include:

  • Food, favorite treats, and water for the duration of the trip
  • Familiar toys to provide comfort and distraction
  • A leash and extra collar with ID tags
  • Waste bags and a portable litter box for cats
  • A basic pet first-aid kit – this should include stress management, travel anxiety, or motion sickness remedies that you’ve tried on your pet before traveling.
  • Cleaning supplies, wet wipes, and paper towels for accidents
  • Any necessary medications

4) Consult Your Vet Before Travel

Before heading off on your trip, consult with your veterinarian. They can perform a pre-travel checkup to ensure your pet is healthy enough for travel and update any essential core vaccinations (if needed, especially for international travel).

This visit is also a good time to obtain health certificates and discuss preventive measures for managing travel anxiety and motion sickness.

5) Consider Pet Anxiety and Stress

Travel can be stressful for pets, and it’s important to recognize signs of stress such as excessive yawning, drooling, shivering, or whining. Here are some valuable tips to help manage and reduce your furry friend's stress levels:

  • Test any travel medication. If your vet prescribes sedatives or anti-anxiety medication, test them before the trip to monitor how your pet reacts. This can prevent unexpected complications during travel.
  • Comforting techniques. Use calming sprays, holistic remedies (our favorites: CBD Dog Health Calm, Bach Rescue Remedy, Easy Traveler), familiar scents, or toys to soothe your pet. These can make a significant difference in their stress levels. Try these natural remedies before (we can't stress this enough!) your trip to determine the most effective ways to use them on your pet.
  • Stick to a routine. Try to maintain your pet's regular schedule as much as possible during travel. This includes feeding, walking, and playtime.
  • Be patient and understanding. Your pet may display unusual behaviors during travel due to stress, so be patient and understanding with them.

Are You Ready to Travel with Your Pet?

On travel day, allow ample time for both you and your pet to get ready before departure. Avoid rushing to minimize stress. Feed a light meal if necessary and take your pet for a walk to ensure they eliminate (go potty!) and are comfortable before the journey. Remember, preparation is key. With a little forward planning, you can ensure that your pet enjoys the trip just as much as you do.

Traveling with your pet can be an enriching experience for both of you. It’s not just about the destination but also the joy of sharing adventures along the way.

Safe travels and enjoy every moment with your four-legged travel buddy!